Last week the Highland National Honors Society, a club that recognizes high-achieving 11-12th grade students who devote themselves to community service, held an induction ceremony at long last. Approximately 50 students were recognized on this night. They received formal invitation slips two days prior to the event, held in the WAH.
Although applications for the NHS opened quickly as school returned in session around late September, the NHS has had a rocky start. They have finally been able to settle with the aid of an additional advisor, Mrs. Romanoff. So, although a tad overdue, the induction ceremony was held for past and new members alike.
Current NHS president Mia Donez opens the ceremony by describing what NHS is and then passes the baton over to our principal, Mrs. Vigstrom, for some words of wisdom to the inductees. Mrs. Vigstrom begins by thanking families for “braving the storm” (it was really windy and rainy!) to attend the evening’s induction ceremony. She then thanked the advisors, Mrs. Thomas, and Mrs. Romanoff, for making sure that the tradition was brought back. Looking into the crowd, she notes that seeing these students and their success makes the effort all worthwhile, especially because this was the day before basketball’s big game! Mrs. Vigstrom ends her quaint speech with a very fitting quote –
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
Although all students in the National Honors Society must first meet the honor roll eligibility, their participation in NHS goes far beyond good grades. They must complete 20+ hours of earnest community service hours per year and demonstrate good character and attributes of “PLAID”. Students who diligently do this receive a chord at graduation and a special luncheon to recognize their achievements.
The stage is set with decorums and four particular candles – candles on pedestals that symbolize certain attributes NHS members must demonstrate or build during their time in service.
Aliya Resendez, secretary of the NHS, presents and lights the scholarship candle.
Kaylie Prichett, officer of the NHS, lights the leadership candle.
Bella Hernandez, an officer of the NHS, lights the service candle. Unfortunately, it happened to be a defective candle, so even with Mrs. Romanoff and Mia Donez trying their hands at lighting it, that candle did not light!
Aliya wraps up by lighting the character candle.
Then, students are called one by one to bestow their written names upon the National Honors Society book on stage. They shake hands with the advisor and Principle Vigstrom before going to receive their official induction certificate.
Then, the lights dim. Students are called to reach beneath their seats for a candle. One of the NHS officers takes their candle and lights it to the first person in the first row – then, this person is instructed to use their lit candle to light that of others. In this way, the baton of character, service, leadership, and scholarship is passed throughout the room. Unfortunately for some, there was no candle present behind their seat. Nonetheless, the event carried on and once all candles were lit, students pledged themselves to these values – right hand on their heart and the other raised.
Then – what’s an induction ceremony without photos! Students shuffle to the stage and take their spots as all sorts of proud parents take to their cameras. All around, you’ll find students specifically smiling for their parents’ cameras. The advisors and Mrs. Vigstrom took photos as well, and this is where the official yearbook photo for NHS will be extracted from.
After this, president Mia Donez signs out – she extends her gratitude once again to the students, administration, and advisors. Advisor Mrs. Thomas thanks Lily Garza for taking care of the lights and music for the ceremony. And with that, the inductees have been officially inducted into the National Honors Society, albeit a semester late!
When ushering out, students are asked to forfeit their candles back to Mrs. Thomas or a trusted NHS representative. Taking pride in their accomplishments, students left the ceremony feeling fulfilled and ready to do more good for their community.
To keep an eye out for what community service project the NHS will tackle next, be sure to follow their Instagram page @ highland.nhs and if you are a current 10th or 11th grader who believes they meet the criteria for National Honors Society, do not hesitate to reach out to your counselor, one of the lovely advisors, or current officers of the club!
With lots of hope and promise, we congratulate the Highland National Honors Society!